CryptoLite Virus Removal – Restore .encrypted Files

CryptoLite Virus Removal – Restore .encrypted Files

CryptoLite Virus image ransomware note .encrypted extension

The CryptoLite Virus is a test release ransomware targeting users on a global scale. The currently released samples of it are probably test versions that may be updated in further iterations. Refer to our in-depth article for a technical analysis and full removal instructions.

Threat Summary

NameCryptoLite
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .encrypted extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CryptoLite

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CryptoLite.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

CryptoLite Virus – Distribution Ways

The CryptoLite virus is currently being distributed in a test campaign. It is presumed that in the future the hacker or criminal group behind it will utilize several tactics to increase the number of infected hosts.

One of the main methods that can be used is the creation of email phishing campaigns that use the design elements of legitimate web services and sites in order to confuse the victims into interacting with them. The viruses are either directly attached or linked inthe body contents of the message.

The other method relies on the use of fake download sites that pose as legitimate vendor download sites, portals and other services that are frequently accessed by computer users. These two mechanisms are the primary ways to distributed payload carriers, two are the most popular types:

  • Documents — The hackers behind the CryptoLine virus can embed macros scripts in various files (rich text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases). When they are opened a notification prompt will appear asking the users to enable the built-in scripts. This leads to the virus infection sequence execution.
  • Application Installers — The same technique can be applied to software installers of popular applications. They are made by taking the legitimate installers from the official sites and modifying them to include the CryptoLite virus code.

To further increase the number of infected hosts the criminals may also utilize browser hijackers — they represent malicious plugins that are made available for all popular web browsers. They are usually distributed on the associated browser repositories and make use of fake developer credentials and user reviews to advertise them. Their typical behavior is to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site, the additional scripts lead to the virus infection.

CryptoLite Virus – In-Depth Analysis

It appears that the CryptoLite virus is not based on code taken from any of the famous ransomware families. It appears that the hacker or criminal collective behind it have either made it from scratch or have acquired a code that has not yet been identified by the current anti-virus and anti-spyware signatures as belonging to one of the already known families.

The captured samples are currently being analyzed and the available reports so far indicate that they are test releases. It is ery possible that the limited distribution campaign is merely used to plot out future attacks that would carry updated samples. The main malicious engine has been found to use a modular approach, this allows the criminals to customize the attacks depending the targets.

The infections can begin with a data harvesting module programmed to harvest sensitive strings. They can be classified into two main groups:

  • Private User Information — The engine can be configured to seaerch for strings that can directly expose the identity of the users: their name, address, phone number, location, interests and account credentials.
  • Anonymous Metrics — The other type of information that can be harvested by the engine is used to optimize the attacks. It collects information such as the user-set regional options, a report of all hardware devices and certain operating system values.

This data can be processed by the next component in the sequence which can bypass security software. The list includes anti-virus programs, sandbox (debug) environments and virtual machine hosts. Their real-time engines can be bypassed or completely removed, depending on the instructions by the hackers.

After this has been complete the engine can proceed further with system changes. They can be different according to the defined sequence, however in most cases some kind of a Windows Registry modifications is made. They can be against the user-installed applications or the operating system entries themselves. Such changes can result in the inability to start certain functions and the overall performance may degrade.

The CryptoLite virus can be installed as a persistent threat — it will automatically start once the computer boots. Such behavior also interacts with the boot recovery menu by disabling it. This makes it very difficult to employ most manual removal methods.

In certain cases a separate Trojan instance can be set which connects to a hacker-controlled server. This allows the criminals to spy on the victims, overtake control of their machines and deploy additional threats.

CryptoLite Virus — Encryption

Following the succesful execution of all prior components the ransomware engine will be launched. It uses a built-in list of target file data that is encrypted with a strong cipher. An example list includes the following files:

  • Images
  • Archives
  • Documents
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Music
  • Videos

Instead of a ransomware note it uses a lockscreen instance which prohibits ordinary interaction until the threat is completely removed. It reads the following message:

ALL YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED!!!
There’s no way to decrypt these files without the decryption key.
To retrieve the deceryption key a payment of 0.5 BC will need to be paid.
INSTRUCTIONS:
*Purchase the bitcoins from https://localbitcoins.com/.
*Transfer the bitcoins to a https://blockchain.info/ Wallet.
*From https://blockchain.info/ transfer the bitcoins to the below address.
*Add a message to the transaction with the following format:
{MAC-ADDRESS_EMAIL} <- ENSURE THIS IS CORRECT Example: 00:A0:C9:14:C8:[email protected] Following payment the key will be emailed to you after confirmation. IF YOU MESS UP YOUR MESSAGE FROMAT, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE KEY! BitCoin Address: [1aa5cmqmvQq8YQTEqcTmW7dfBNuFwgdCD] Decryption Key: [***][DECRYPT]

Manually delete CryptoLite from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the CryptoLite threat: Manual removal of CryptoLite requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Remove or Uninstall CryptoLite in Windows
2. Remove CryptoLite from Your Browser and Your Registry Editor

Automatically remove CryptoLite by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove CryptoLite with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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